Flood Case Studies

*Since December 2019, the average household flood claim cost has increased from £32,000 to £50,000, a 56% increase from 2018 alone. In 2015, storms Eva, Desmond and Frank caused damage to the cost of £1.3bn and in 2019, the bill to clean up following Storms Ciara and Dennis, is set to cost more than £360m. With Climate Change having a direct impact on flood occurrences, it has never been more important for insurers to focus on this issue.

The dedicated BLM Property Damage team has vast expertise in all forms of flood claims, whether that is river flooding, coastal floods or flash / surface water floods. Please see below for some case studies where BLM has made a significant difference for their insurer clients.

Flooded cellar claim successfully voided

What was the claim?
  • BLM were instructed by insurers in relation to a claim notified by a policyholder concerning a flooded cellar in a public house awaiting redevelopment.
  • The policyholder had claimed that the water in the cellar was a result of runoff water from the car park above.
How did BLM make a difference?
  • Enquiries and investigations carried out on BLM’s instigation revealed that in fact the policyholder had been aware that there was an ongoing problem with flooding in the cellar and that this had not been disclosed to insurers when the policy had been taken out.
What did BLM help achieve?
  • As a result, insurers were able to successfully avoid the policy, which resulted in a significant saving of in excess of £100,000 for the insurer.
  • The policyholder submitted a complaint to the FOS, but following submissions made by BLM, the complaint was not upheld and a finding in favour of the insurer was made.

Recovery achieved for insurer where blocked trash screen led to flooding

What was the claim?
  • BLM were instructed by insurers to recover their outlay following flooding of a property it insured.  The insurer’s outlay was in the region of £200,000.
  • Flooding occurred following a period of intense rainfall which caused a watercourse to overtop its banks.  Investigations revealed that a trash screen, which had been installed by the local landowner, had become “blinded”. This caused the waters to back up and the flooding to occur.
What was BLM’s role?
  • BLM instigated a number of investigations, including a report carried out by an expert hydrologist. The report showed that the trash screen had been poorly designed and that the ongoing maintenance had been poor.
What did BLM achieve for the insurer?
  • As a result of pressure applied by BLM, including the threat of proceedings, insurers were able to make a recovery for the vast majority of its outlay.

Recovery achieved for insurer following builders’ failing to reconnect drain and remove rubble

What was the claim?
  • BLM were instructed to recover an insurer’s outlay of £1 million following a flooding of a gym.
  • Water had entered the gym following a period of very intense rainfall, causing significant damage to the facilities and a large loss of income while the damage was rectified.
  • Forensic investigations revealed that a lightwell and its drain had been blocked with builders’ rubble and materials. This caused floodwater to rise up and enter the building under the doors and into the basement swimming pool.
What part did BLM play in the successful recovery for the insurer?
  • Investigations carried out by BLM were able to identify the contractors who had been working on site and were responsible for failing to clear the rubble.
  • Following the threat of proceedings and significant pressure by BLM, a recovery of a substantial proportion of the outlay was achieved.

*Source: CII https://www.cii.co.uk/media/10125636/coh_j012904-new-gen-claims-flood-resilience-grants-p1.pdf